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UNESCO Chair in New Media Forms of the Book, University of Bedfordshire (2012)

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Purpose/Objectives of the Chair

The Chair promotes an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in the fields of new media forms of the book. The specific objectives of the Chair are to:

  • Use appropriate technologies to improve access to knowledge and provide accessible, affordable and multiplatform knowledge resources, in order to contribute to the objectives of Education for All, as well as to other UNESCO strategic objectives, particularly in terms of communication, information and culture;
  • Analyse trends in the use of electronic media (mobile media and Internet technologies) as a cost-effective and borderless means of sharing book resources and providing knowledge transfer opportunities via industry links, as well as conduct research on the levels of access to electronic texts and their use across a variety of platforms;
  • Focus on the cultural implications of the book’s adaptation to the particular media environment of different societies and preserve the heritage of national book cultures in new e-book developments, by selecting culturally significant case studies providing evidence of book publication across multiple platforms; and,
  • Develop models that will aid in the understanding of the role of the book as a source text for other contemporary media industries.

Chairholder Professor Alexis Weedon

Address: UNESCO Chair in New Media Forms of the Book, University of Bedfordshire, University Square, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK, LU1 3JU
Email: alexis.weedon [at]
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Professor Alexis Weedon is Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in New Media Forms of the Book. She completed her doctorate at Oxford University, and has co-edited Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies since 1995. She has been principal investigator on the 'Cross-Media Practices in Britain the 1920s and 1930s' project researching the role of authors in the early days of writing for the radio and for film. The project was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

She has written about British book publishing in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and is a specialist in the use of quantitative methods in the study of the industry. She has a chapter in Blackwell's Companion to Book History on the topic and a historical essay on the economics of publishing in The Oxford Companion to the Book. She is General Editor of the five volume collection The History of the Book in the West (Ashgate 2010).

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Regional and accessibility